Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is speaking out in regard to the fatal on-set shooting involving Alec Baldwin that resulted in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and the injury of director Joel Souza. Through her lawyer, Jason Bowles, Gutierrez-Reed told Entertainment Tonight that she had "long sought this answer" into how the prop gun ended up firing live rounds back in October and "will not give up in pursuing the truth to find it."
"The primary question in this case from the beginning has been where did the live rounds that ended up on the Rust set come from?" the statement read, before going on to claim that "the Sheriff's office made a conscious decision not to pursue this question at all by refusing to ask the FBI to test any of the rounds for fingerprints or DNA."
Guitierrez-Reed's legal team also provided the outlet with emails he claimed were between him and Detective Alexandria Hancock of the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office, questioning why the FBI didn't do DNA testing on the rounds. He claims Hancock responded that "given the fact the items were from movie sets, which had been handled over and over and over, it didn't make sense"."
"I've never heard of an agency declining to pursue DNA evidence on the possible murder instrument or weapon," Bowles wrote in another email he provided to ET. "I urge you to reconsider this. This will be a very significant issue at trial if we get there." Guitierrez-Reed's statement ended, "We now know for certain there were live rounds on set. It is inconceivable that the Sheriff would not seek answers to this fundamental question and it raises a serious problem with the entire investigation."
Gutierrez-Reed's legal statement comes during the same week that the FBI released its forensic report into the incident, concluding that the gun couldn't have fired without the trigger being pulled, which contradicts Baldwin's insistence that he did not pull the trigger. The actor offered up an explanation as to the gun going off on The Chris Cuomo Project.
"If you pull the hammer back, and you don't lock the hammer; if you pull the hammer back pretty far -- in old Western movies you'd see someone fan the hammer of the gun – the hammer didn't lock; you pulled it back to an extent where it would fire the bullet without you pulling the trigger, without you locking the hammer," he said.
Baldwin claimed that the principal safety officer on the set declared the gun safe before handing it to him. "He explained it to me, effectively, exactly what can happen if you pull the hammer back and let it go if there's a live round," the 30 Rock alum noted. "See, there's only one question to ask here – who put a live round in the gun? That's it. There is no other question to ask."